US senator disagrees with Trump over CIA's Khashoggi assessment

US senator disagrees with Trump over CIA's Khashoggi assessment

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
US senator disagrees with Trump over CIAs Khashoggi assessment

U.S. Republican Senator Mike Lee has said he "disagrees" with President Donald Trump's dismissal of CIA assessment that Saudi crown prince ordered murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Lee was speaking in an interview on NBC News on Nov. 25 in response to Trump’s Thursday remarks that the CIA "did not come to a conclusion" about Mohammed bin Salman's involvement in the murder.

"I disagree with the President's assessment. It's inconsistent with the intelligence I've seen," said Lee. "Intelligence I've seen suggests this was ordered by the crown prince."

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives.

Khashoggi's murder also put a spotlight into Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, with US lawmakers pushing the Trump administration to stop its support for the Kingdom as a punishment for the killing.

Lee said the war in Yemen is "unauthorized" and "unconstitutional" from the U.S. standpoint.

"This is not an ally that deserves this kind of military intervention, especially because there’s been no connection between the safety of the

American people and our involvement in this war," said the senator.

"I believe this is an opportunity for Congress to weigh in and say let’s hold our efforts in Yemen," he added.

According to the UN, Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the conflict enters its fourth year, around 14 million people in Yemen, or half the total population of the country, are at risk of famine.

As many as 85,000 children under the age of 5 in Yemen have starved to death since the war began, Save the Children, a rights group, reported on Wednesday.